Review, News & Views, Perspectives, Hypotheses and Analyses

  • News & Views |

    X-ray observations of the Galactic Centre have uncovered chimney-like structures filled with hot plasma. The discovery might reveal how energy is transported from this central region to far-off locations.

    • Masha Chernyakova
  • News & Views |

    A protein complex that moves molecules called lipopolysaccharides between the two cell-wall membranes of certain bacteria is a target for antibiotics. Structures now reveal how this complex delivers its load irreversibly.

    • Russell E. Bishop
  • News & Views |

    A robotic system has been demonstrated in which the random motion of individual components leads to deterministic behaviour, much as occurs in living systems. Environmental and medical applications could follow.

    • Metin Sitti
  • Analysis |

    The characterization of missense histone mutations that occur across several cancer types provides insight into the potential role of these mutations in altering chromatin structure and potentially contributing to tumour development.

    • Benjamin A. Nacev
    • , Lijuan Feng
    • , John D. Bagert
    • , Agata E. Lemiesz
    • , JianJiong Gao
    • , Alexey A. Soshnev
    • , Ritika Kundra
    • , Nikolaus Schultz
    • , Tom W. Muir
    •  & C. David Allis
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported Australian flooding in 1919, and the conservation of patches of grass in 1969.

  • News & Views |

    The ability to attach a variety of chemical groups to one position in a molecule facilitates the search for compounds that have useful properties. Reactions have been reported that could transform how chemists do this.

    • Eric M. Ferreira
  • News & Views |

    The function of histone proteins can be modified through addition or removal of certain chemical groups. The addition of a serotonin molecule is a newly found histone modification that could influence gene expression.

    • Marlene Cervantes
    •  & Paolo Sassone-Corsi
  • News & Views |

    Ordinary computers can perform machine learning by comparing mathematical representations of data. An experiment demonstrates how quantum computing could use quantum-mechanical representations instead.

    • Maria Schuld
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported the lack of women engineers in the United Kingdom in 1969, and the use of charcoal in gas masks in 1919.

  • News & Views |

    Many enzymes cooperate with other proteins and small molecules to function. A strategy that mimics the confinement of such cooperative partners in cells might allow these enzymes to be used in applications outside biological systems.

    • Alison Narayan
  • News & Views |

    The contribution of a single neuron to brain function might seem negligible. But a map of the influence of single neurons reveals a complex pattern that prevents redundancy and enables clear messaging.

    • Ikuko T. Smith
  • News & Views |

    Four studies demonstrate the vast opportunities provided by stacking pairs of monolayer materials and changing the resulting optical properties by twisting one material with respect to the other.

    • Bernhard Urbaszek
    •  & Ajit Srivastava
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported a chalk ‘mammoth’ in 1919, and musical physics in 1969.

  • News & Views |

    Ocean-floor hot springs teeming with animal life were reported 40 years ago. How has knowledge of life thriving in such extreme conditions grown since then, and what challenges remain for exploration and conservation down there?

    • Cindy Lee Van Dover
  • News & Views |

    A global biodiversity crash 251.9 million years ago has revealed how ecosystems respond to extreme perturbation. The finding that terrestrial ecosystems were less affected than marine ones is unexpected.

    • Robert A. Gastaldo
  • News & Views |

    Quantum computers require controlled encoding to protect computations from environmental noise. Two experiments have achieved such encoding using what are known as infinite-dimensional quantum systems.

    • Alessandro Ferraro
  • News & Views |

    Bone elongation requires the maintenance of a growth plate of cartilage. Two studies have now identified stem cells specific to this structure that give rise to both cartilage cells and bone-marrow stem cells.

    • Manuela Wuelling
    •  & Andrea Vortkamp
  • News & Views |

    Iridescent colours have been observed to be reflected from specially designed droplets of colourless liquids, with the reflected colour depending on the viewing angle. The finding reveals a curious mechanism for creating coloration.

    • Kenneth Chau
  • News & Views |

    Insecticides that kill mosquitoes have helped to fight malaria, but insecticide resistance is rising. Treating mosquitoes with drugs that target the disease-causing parasite offers another way of tackling malaria.

    • Janet Hemingway
  • News & Views |

    A study of a cuckoo species that usually shows cooperative nesting behaviour, but sometimes cheats at parenthood by laying eggs in others’ nests, reveals the benefits that have shaped the evolution of this parasitic tactic.

    • Andrew G. Zink
    •  & John M. Eadie
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported preparations for the Moon landing in 1969, and a rare archaeological find in 1919.

  • News & Views |

    Failed chemical reactions are often not reported, which means that vast amounts of potentially useful data are going to waste. Experiments show that machine learning can use such data to optimize the preparation of porous materials.

    • Seth Cohen
  • News & Views |

    Hippocamp, a previously undetected moon of Neptune, has a peculiar location and a tiny size relative to the planet’s other inner moons, which suggests a violent history for the region within 100,000 kilometres of the planet.

    • Anne J. Verbiscer
  • News & Views |

    Faulty DNA replication can make genomes unstable. It now seems that, in mice, severe disruption of DNA replication triggers inflammation in the placenta, and female embryos are more sensitive to this than are male ones.

    • Sarah Lambert
  • News & Views |

    The structure of a neutron or a proton is modified when the particle is bound in an atomic nucleus. Experimental data suggest an explanation for this phenomenon that could have broad implications for nuclear physics.

    • Gerald Feldman
  • News & Views |

    Studies of multiple sclerosis have long focused on the white matter of the brain. Insights into how immune cells target the brain’s grey matter now illuminate the stage of the disease at which neurodegeneration occurs.

    • Jenna L. Pappalardo
    •  & David A. Hafler
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported the roles of birds in the First World War, and a resurgent kanagaroo population in 1968.

  • Perspective |

    Complex Earth system challenges can be addressed by incorporating spatial and temporal context into machine learning, especially via deep learning, and further by combining with physical models into hybrid models.

    • Markus Reichstein
    • , Gustau Camps-Valls
    • , Bjorn Stevens
    • , Martin Jung
    • , Joachim Denzler
    • , Nuno Carvalhais
    •  &  Prabhat
  • News & Views |

    The link between sleep and cardiovascular disease is poorly understood. Findings in mice now show that disrupted sleep causes the brain to signal the bone marrow to boost white blood cell production, damaging blood vessels.

    • Alan R. Tall
    •  & Sanja Jelic
  • News & Views |

    A treatment called eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing alleviates post-traumatic stress disorder through enigmatic mechanisms. A study in mice offers potential clues into the biological basis of this approach.

    • Andrew Holmes
  • News & Views |

    It is well established that solid objects can be cooled by harnessing the properties of laser light. A laser-free technique that attains such cooling by tuning thermal radiation could have many practical applications.

    • Yannick De Wilde
    •  & Riad Haidar
  • News & Views |

    Nitrogen gas dissolved in the ocean must be fixed — converted into more-reactive compounds — before it can be used to support life, but the regions in which this nitrogen fixation occurs have been elusive. Not any more.

    • Nicolas Gruber
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported a key step towards test-tube babies in 1969, and strange damage to a German shell in 1919.

  • News & Views |

    How do meerkat populations respond to extreme climatic variations?

    • Joana Osório
  • News & Views |

    To survive and divide, cancer cells need a constant supply of lipid molecules called monounsaturated fatty acids. Tumours can achieve this by an unsuspected route that harnesses a metabolic pathway also used in hair follicles.

    • Marteinn Thor Snaebjornsson
    •  & Almut Schulze
  • News & Views |

    A system has been devised that computationally screens hundreds of millions of drug candidates — all of which can be made on demand — against biological targets. This could help to make drug discovery more efficient.

    • David E. Gloriam
  • News & Views |

    A technique that harnesses energy loss has been used to produce a phase of matter in which particles of light are locked in place. This opens a path to realizing previously unseen exotic phases of matter.

    • Kaden R. A. Hazzard
  • News & Views |

    When cancer spreads, this metastatic stage of the disease is usually lethal. An analysis of immune cells that cluster with tumour cells in the bloodstream illuminates a partnership that might aid metastasis.

    • Mikala Egeblad
    •  & Karin E. de Visser
  • News & Views |

    DNA sequences called retrotransposons can copy themselves and reintegrate at new sites in the genome, causing damage. It now seems that inhibiting this process can prevent age-related health decline in mice.

    • Bennett Childs
    •  & Jan van Deursen
  • News & Views |

    Mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is accelerating as a result of rising global temperatures. Two studies explore how this mass loss will affect sea level and other aspects of the climate in the future.

    • Hélène Seroussi
  • News & Views |

    How Nature reported a strange natural phenomenon in 1969, and an anti-louse campaign in 1919.